Editor’s note: the emerging trends

Okey Chigbo, Editor of CPA Magazine, introduces the features in the September 2014 issue.

Warren Buffett is many things: investment guru, some say the most successful investor of the past century, presidential adviser, prognosticator, business magnate and billionaire extraordinaire. He is also 84 years old and suffering from prostate cancer. So it’s no surprise that predictions abound about who will fill the "Oracle of Omaha’s" seven-league boots when he is gone.

Who will succeed him? There are a few candidates in Buffett’s vast empire, but the one who interests us most is Canadian accountant Greg Abel. In "Ready, Willing and Abel," written by John Lorinc, we find that Edmonton-born Abel joined the Buffett world in the early 1990s. He now heads Berkshire Hathaway Energy, one of the fastest growing and largest divisions in the Buffett business empire.

"By most accounts," writes Lorinc, "Greg Abel is a hard-working executive who has acquitted himself exceedingly well in his post atop Berkshire’s energy subsidiary in Des Moines, Iowa. A year ago, in recognition of Abel’s growing managerial importance ... Buffett put him on the board of ketchup manufacturer H. J. Heinz, which Berkshire acquired together with another investor group for more than US$12 billion." Be among the first to find out about the great man’s potential Canadian successor by reading this interesting piece.

Modern crowdfunding, defined by Toronto writer Lisa van de Geyn as "the process of raising money through small contributions from the public using online payment platforms," is an increasingly popular way for entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized companies to develop their business ideas. It is not only used by businesses: Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign raised US$500 million from small online donors. In the feature story "Mass Appeal," van de Geyn follows University of Ottawa engineering students Thomas Sychterz, Frank Bouchard and Toby Maurice as they raised funds for their eco-friendly, erasable notebook. Their goal was to raise $4,000 in 30 days, a crowdfunding project that would tell them if their product was viable enough to develop. Please read this exciting and informative story to find out if they were successful.

"Emerging markets" or "emerging economies" are terms introduced in the 1980s to describe countries going from undeveloped to developed. We asked writer Susan Smith to speak to experts on the subject so she could draw up a list of the top-10 emerging markets today. Of course, China is in there, as is India. But there are surprises on the list such as Turkey and the Philippines. The Philippines, writes Smith, is the only country on the list with a growth rate consistent with pre-crash levels of 2007. This is a feature everyone needs to read.